After a huge weekend comes an equally big midweek, with the school season now fully in swing.
This week really is a cracking week, with a couple of early Champions Trophy fixtures, an early Schools Cup game, some Schools Vase catch-up fixtures, as well as plenty of Daily Mail Trophy games, touring games, and much more.
Tuesday sees Felsted look to build on their excellent start to the season, including Saturday’s win against Haileybury, as they host The Leys. Felsted will be favourites but will want to make a statement and continue their momentum.
Uppingham make the trip to Leicester Grammar on Tuesday. Under new Director of Rugby Nick De Luca, Uppingham have won two from three this season, only losing narrowly to Bedford on Saturday. Leicester Grammar have struggled a little so far, but will be keen to take the scalp of their local rivals, so Uppingham will have to be on their game.
High flying Denstone College will be looking for yet another win on Tuesday when they host Langley, while Dame Alland’s host Ponteland, and Duke of York’s Royal Military School are hosting Australian tourists, Townsville Grammar.
Wednesday is where the real meat of the midweek action is happening, with fixtures across multiple competitions taking place.
The biggest of the lot though will be the two Champions Trophy games. This wonderful and competitive tournament officially starts next week but it gets a bit of a jump start on Wednesday as RGS Guildford host Caterham and St Albans make the trop to Stowe.
RGS v Caterham ought to be a fantastic match up. On paper they are probably about even, and each has a win and a loss to their name so far, so expect a cracker of a tie.
Stowe v St Albans on the surface is less even, Stowe are an established force right at the top of the schools rugby tree, while St Albans have generally ranked slightly lower down the food change. However St Albans have started with a real bang this season and are clearing making big efforts, a prestige scalp like Stowe’s would be huge and you can bet your mortgage that they will be throwing everything at it. Against a Stowe side struggling a little for form early on this season, that could make for a very interesting game.
There is one U18 Schools Cup fixture a week ahead of schedule as UCS host KCS Wimbledon. UCS enjoyed a superb season last year and will want to carry that through, but KCS are always a tough side to beat. They need form though, KCS’ two Saturday fixtures so far have yielded one draw and one defeat.
There is action in the Daily Mail Trophy as Reigate Grammar welcome Churcher’s College. It has not been the easiest start for Reigate, so they will be hoping to build up some good momentum on Wednesday. Cokethorpe are also in Daily Mail Trophy action, at home to Magdalen College.
The U18 Schools Vase first round gets finished off in midweek, with all bar one fixture taking place on Wednesday.
Bishop’s Stortford HS host Saffron Walden CHS, with the winner due to face either St Edmund’s College or Bishop Stortford’s other big side, Bishop Stortford’s College.
London Oratory travel to Gunnersbury in London & South East B, with King Henry VIII Coventry hosting Arden Academy in Midlands A for the chance to take the trip to Bishop Vesey’s.
Over in London & South East A, St Lawrence College host Sir Roger Manwood’s and in the same section Wallington CGS and Graveney meet, the winner there plays Harris City Academy. Back in LSE B, Worth host Reigate College, with the winner making the trip to Glyn next round.
Elsewhere there are plenty of other exciting fixtures. In Yorkshire Ampleforth College host Ripon Grammar and Yarm travel to Harrogate Grammar, meanwhile Queen Ethelburga’s make the daunting trip to Kirkham Grammar School.
Reading Blue Coat v Shiplake College promises to be a good and competitive fixture, so too Merchant Taylors’ trip to Watford Grammar.
On Thursday there are two big Daily Mail Trophy fixtures as the fast starting Cheltenham College host a very promising Marlborough College side. Further north, Rugby School will look to bounce back from Saturday defeat to St Edward’s Oxford, but face and Oakham side also looking to bounce back, after they missed out to Stamford on Saturday.
The final U18 Vase fixture of the week takes place on Thursday too, with Wycliffe College heading to Beaufort in South West B. The winner will host The Crypt next round.
In the Scottish Cup the mighty Merchiston Castle host Edinburgh RHS. Outside of the Cup, Fettes College host Edinburgh Academy.
Prior Park College face the daunting task of hosting AASE side Beechen Cliff, while Sutton Valence are the latest side to welcome the Australians from Townsville.
There are just two fixtures on Friday night, but they look mouth-watering. Both are Anglo-Welsh fixtures, and both are massive.
Millfield, fresh from a thumping win over RGS High Wycombe, host Coleg Sir Gar, in a battle between sides used to being right at the top end of the school game on either side of the border. The other games sees Monmouth take on St Peter’s Gloucester, two sides who are also no strangers to the upper echelons of the school game, St Peter’s having once won the U18 Schools Cup, and Monmouth only a couple of seasons ago were one of the very best around.
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Schools Rugby Midweek Fixtures (Predictions in bold)
Dame Allan’s v Ponteland
Denstone College v Langley
Duke of York’s RMS v Townsville Grammar (Australia)
Felsted v The Leys
Leicester Grammar v Uppingham
Ampleforth College v Ripon Grammar
Aylesbury Grammar v Dr Challoner’s Grammar
Bishop’s Stortford HS v Saffron Walden CHS (U18 Vase)
Christ College v Pembroke
Claires Court v Sir William Borlase’s
Cokethorpe v Magdalen College (Daily Mail Trophy)
Emmanuel College v Newcastle School for Boys
Gravesend GS v Hayes
Gunnersbury v London Oratory (U18 Vase)
Harris Academy v Darrick Wood
Harrogate GS v Yarm
KES Aston v Bablake
KES Stratford v Balmoral College
King Henry VIII, Coventry v Arden Academy (U18 Vase)
Kirkham Grammar v Queen Ethelburga’s
Latymer Upper v St Benedict’s (County Cup)
Nottingham HS v Welbeck
Reading Blue Coat v Shiplake College
Reading v Halliford
Reigate Grammar v Churcher’s College (Daily Mail Trophy)
RGS Guildford v Caterham (Champions Trophy)
RGS Worcester v The Crypt
Richard Hale v St Edmunds’s College
Runshaw v Manchester Grammar (County Cup)
Sandringham v Simon Balle
Shrewsbury v Shrewsbury 6th form College
Simon Langton v Maidstone Grammar
St Ambrose College v Altrincham Grammar
St Lawrence College v Sir Roger Manwood’s (U18 Vase)
Stowe v St Albans (Champions Trophy)
UCS v KCS Wimbledon (U18 Cup)
Wallington CGS v Graveney (U18 Vase)
Watford GS v Merchant Taylors’
Worksop College v Thomas Rotherham
Worth v Reigate College (U18 Vase)
Beaufort v Wycliffe College (U18 Vase)
Cheltenham College v Marlborough College (Daily Mail Trophy)
Fettes College v Edinburgh Academy
Merchiston Castle v Edinburgh RHS (Scottish Cup)
Prior Park College v Beechen Cliff
Rugby v Oakham (Daily Mail Trophy)
Sutton Valence v Townsville Grammar (Australia)
Millfield v Coleg Sir Gar
Monmouth v St Peter’s, Gloucester